Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Community Space, Keynsham - Market Walk, Keynsham. View directions

Contact: Marie Todd  01225 394414

Items
No. Item

25.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

Mandy Bishop, Director of Environment Services, introduced herself to those present.

26.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as follows:

If the continuous alarm sounds, you must evacuate the building by one of the designated exits and proceed to one of the named assembly points. The designated exits are sign-posted. Arrangements are in place for the safe evacuation of disabled people. The assembly points are: the front and rear of Riverside, Temple Street.

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Officer advised the meeting of the procedure.

27.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from:

 

Cllrs Paul May, Lisa O’Brien and Mark Shelford

 

Bathampton Parish Council

Bathford Parish Council

Timsbury Parish Council

Whitchurch Parish Council.

28.

URGENT BUSINESS AS AGREED BY THE CHAIR

The Chair will announce any items of urgent business accepted since the agenda was prepared

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

29.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 24 October 2018.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 24 October 2018 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

30.

UPDATE FROM THE LEADER OF BATH & NORTH EAST SOMERSET COUNCIL - CLLR TIM WARREN

Minutes:

Councillor Tim Warren gave an update giving a brief overview of the previous four year term:

 

The reduction in Local Government funding has led to severe cuts over the last four years which has been very difficult.  The proportion of total funding spent on children and adult services has increased to 80%.

 

·  There has been a reduction in staffing levels over the last two years.

·  The Council has made a number of changes to working practices e.g. waste services.  The main priority is to ensure that vulnerable people are looked after.

·  New ways to generate income have also been considered such as commercial property, the setting up of a housing company – Aequus Construction Ltd, Council buildings have been developed and empty properties brought back into use.  This enabled funding to be directed to the provision of front line services.

·  There has been investment in heritage services such as the Roman Baths.

·  The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has been formed and this has enabled funding of £30m to be leveraged into the area. £10m has also been provided through WECA for local high streets.

·  It was also important to ensure that the correct skills are provided in the correct places and for people to be trained in the right jobs.

·  There is still work to be carried out with regard to bus services in the area.

·  The Bath Quays development will create new office space in the centre of Bath and will generate increased business rates and provide more jobs.

·  Children’s Social Care achieved a Good Ofsted rating.

·  Schools in the area are among the best in the South West.

·  The move to fortnightly waste collections has led to a large increase in recycling rates and fly tipping has actually reduced.  The recycling rates are in the top six in the country.

·  The Cabinet has just approved the clean air zone for Bath.  This meets central government’s air quality targets without the need to charge private cars.  Older polluting commercial vehicles such as buses, taxis and lorries will be charged to drive in the stipulated zone.

·  Cllr Warren ended his update by thanking the Parish Councils and local communities for the support and assistance they have provided to enable the recent changes to be a success.

31.

UPDATE FROM CABINET MEMBERS pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency – Cllr Charles Gerrish

 

·  To include: Update on the Council’s budget

 

Cabinet Member for Development and Neighbourhoods – Cllr Bob Goodman

 

·  To include: Plastic Bag Free B&NES 2020

 

Cabinet Member for Transformation and Customer Services – Cllr Karen Warrington

 

·  To include: Community Run Library

 

Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration – Cllr Paul Myers

 

·  To include: Consultation Workshop feedback; notification to Parishes in respect of changes to Council services; Parish Charter Certificates; Review of Terms of Reference for Parish Liaison Meeting; Protocol to mark the death of a Senior National Public Figure or Local Holder of High Office

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)  Cllr Charles Gerrish – Finance and Efficiency

 

Cllr Charles Gerrish, Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency reported on the following issues:

 

·  More funding has been made available for social care; however, the challenge still remains.

·  The Government funding settlement was as expected with no additional funding.

·  The number of looked after children has increased by 12%.  An extra £1.5m has been allocated for children’s services.

·  More social workers have been recruited.

·  WECA has provided £8.5m for highway maintenance work.

·  Leisure centres have been upgraded.

·  Bath Quays regeneration is taking place.

·  £12.3m of savings are required to be made next year which will be challenging but the Council is confident that long-term sustainability can be maintained.

·  The restructure of charges for the Roman Baths will also increase the income received.

·  The ultimate aim is for B&NES Council to become financially self-sufficient.

·  The Council has backed new powers to enable the growth in Airbnb accommodation to be tackled.  Other Councils are also lobbying to ensure there is a level playing field for this type of holiday accommodation.

·  There will be one-off costs for the local elections this year.

·  Council tax bills (basic rate) will increase by 2.95% this year with an additional 1% social care precept.

·  In response to a query from East Harptree Parish Council it was confirmed that the additional affordable housing funding will be made available to providers such as Curo.

 

(b)  Cllr Bob Goodman – Development and Neighbourhoods

 

Cllr Bob Goodman, Cabinet Member for Development and Neighbourhoods gave a presentation regarding single use plastic:

 

·  The goal is for the community to be plastic free by 2030.

·  Cllr Goodman thanked the officers for all the work they have undertaken to improve recycling rates and to reduce the use of plastics.  One initiative that is currently being worked on is to increase recycling rates by residents living in flats.

·  There is still progress to be made to encourage supermarkets to use less plastic and to reduce the use of black plastics.

·  Discussions are taking place with local organisations, businesses, schools and places of worship to encourage them to get involved with this project.

·  He also praised the work being carried out by local volunteer community groups such as the Keynsham Wombles and Families for a Bright Future.

·  Further information is available using the following links:

 https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/environment/sustainability/bathnes-plastic-pledge

 

·  www.bathnes.gov.uk/plasticfree

 

(c)  Cllr Karen Warrington – Transformation and Customer Services

 

Cllr Karen Warrington, Cabinet Member for Transformation and Customer Services reported on the following issues:

 

·  Cllr Warrington thanked the local communities for their support in transforming branch libraries into community libraries.  A small sum of money has been made available for the set-up of the libraries to ensure their sustainability and viability.  The Saltford Library has been very successful and has retained a Post Officer Counter for the village as well as increasing lending levels.

·  The Love Weston Library now uses the Click and Collect service giving access to three million books.

·  Moorland Road, Paulton and Radstock Libraries are also in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

Presentation - Terms of Reference - Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 94 KB

32.

FIX MY STREET AND COUNCIL WEBSITE UPDATE

To receive a presentation from James Green – Service Designer – IT Services.

Minutes:

James Green, Service Designer – IT Services, gave a presentation regarding the “Fix My Street” application and the Council Website update. 

 

Fix My Street

 

·  The “Fix My Street” system is B&NES Council’s own customised version integrated with back-office systems and processes.

·  A large number of issues can be reported such as abandoned vehicles, littering and bins, flooding and drains and graffiti.

·  The system is easy to use and can be accessed on smartphones.  It also enables people to follow the progress of an issue that has been reported.

·  People can still report issues by calling Council Connect and staff will log the issue onto the system.

·  Over 11,000 reports have been made since the system went live in April 2018.  There are currently about 220 reports per week.

·  The link to the system is https://fix.bathnes.gov.uk/

 

Council Website

 

·  The rest of the B&NES Council website is currently being updated and improved.

·  The aim is to make the system easier to use, more accurate and more up to date.

·  There will be a different approach to content which is being designed with the user in mind.  The site will be more streamlined and is based on research following testing with users.

·  It will also be more interactive and is based on the principle used on the gov.uk website.

 

Questions and Comments

 

Concern was expressed at the length of time taken to respond to issues raised on the system.  For example, a recent report of road damage took 4-5 months to be resolved.  Cllr Paul Myers stated that this was a parish charter matter.  He noted that issues were prioritised to deal with health and safety and emergency matters in the first instance.  It was agreed that this matter would be considered at the next meeting when the relevant officer could attend to address concerns.

 

It was noted that the feedback part of the system was not always accurate as matters were often logged as being completed when the work had not actually been carried out.  Mandy Bishop, Director of Environment Services, stated that she would deal with this issue.  She explained that sometimes when a work request had been sent to a contractor the issue was being logged as complete and that the wording needed to be reviewed to more accurately reflect the progress being made.

 

It was confirmed that the team at B&NES would pass on any matters raised regarding street lights which were a Parish Council responsibility to the relevant Parish Council.

 

On the whole the Parish Council representatives felt that the new system was a great improvement compared to what they had before.

 

Cllr Karen Warrington explained that the B&NES website would be updated in a modular manner i.e. certain sections at a time.  She confirmed that any member of the public can use the Fix My Street site.  Parish Council representatives were asked to encourage the use of the system by members of their local communities as it would enable the Council to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

Presentation - Fix My Street and B&NES Website - Appendix 2 pdf icon PDF 651 KB

33.

ELECTIONS AND BOUNDARY CHANGES

To receive a presentation from Maria Lucas, Director, Legal and Democratic Services and Aurora Loi, Electoral Services Manager.

Minutes:

Aurora Loi, Electoral Services Manager, and Maria Lucas, Director – Legal and Democratic Services, gave a presentation regarding the forthcoming local elections.  The presentation covered the following matters:

 

·  Key events and dates for Parish/Town Clerks, candidates and electors

·  Official notices.

·  Nomination papers – the nomination period will begin on 19 March and will end at 4pm on 3 April 2019.  Nomination forms must be hand delivered and there will be a dedicated room for this purpose in the Guildhall, Bath.

·  Forms to be completed – nomination form (1A), home address form (1B), consent to nomination form (1C) and contact details form

·  Verification and count – the verification will take place on Thursday 2 May 2019 from 10.15pm and the count will take place on Friday 3 May 2019 from 10am – both would be held at the Sports Training Village, University of Bath.

·  After the count.

·  Spending return.

 

It was noted that Parish Councils can request a copy of the register from the Electoral Services Team if required.  The copy of the register to be used for nominations is the revised version, which was published on 1 March 2019.  The register has been renumbered and the majority of polling district codes has changed.

 

Candidates can choose not to have their home address on the ballot paper.  The name and address of the attesting person is required.

 

All new Councillors must register their interests as required by the Code of Conduct.  The declaration of interest forms must be collected by the Parish or Town Clerk and there is no longer a requirement to send these to the Monitoring Officer at B&NES Council.  Parishes should hold the details regarding registers of interest and place these on their Council website.

 

The Electoral Services Manager agreed to send a word version copy of Form 1(c) to the Parish Clerks.

 

The Combe Hay Parish Clerk asked whether it was appropriate for Clerks to deliver the nomination forms.  The Electoral Services Manager confirmed that Parish Clerks had assisted with this in the past but it is for the individual Parish Clerks and candidates to decide how best to deliver the forms.  It is advisable not to leave this until the last minute in case there are any problems which need to be resolved.

 

It was confirmed that anyone could sign the consent to nomination as a witness.  However, the proposer and seconder must be a registered elector within the parish.  There is nothing to prevent a candidate’s spouse from being a proposer or seconder, providing they are listed on the electoral register for the parish where the candidate is standing.  No proof of ID is required.

 

A copy of the presentation slides are attached as Appendix 3 to these minutes.

Presentation - Elections 2019 - Appendix 3 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

34.

RURAL TRANSPORT PARTNERSHIP UPDATE

Minutes:

Cllr Paul Myers gave a presentation giving an update on the Rural Transport Partnership.  The presentation covered the following matters:

 

·  Bus services are the “subject of the moment” in rural areas.  There is growing resident frustration and this matter has been discussed at various local meetings.

·  Residents felt that First Bus had a legal duty to provide a regular service.  However, they are not required to do this under the 1985 Local Transport Act.  The majority of people feel that an hourly or regular bus service is required.

·  There was a cycle of bus services being cut which led to people using the buses less and relying on their cars.  There remains a core group of people who do not have access to a car and rely on public transport (e.g. elderly people, disabled people, young people and students).

·  It is important to look at where people want to go and when and to then identify what is actually required.  Priorities could then be put together and alternative options such as car sharing could be considered.  WECA are currently producing a bus strategy.

·  The proposal was to set up a B&NES Rural Transport Group which will include the bus companies.  The group would hold round table discussions and would be required to come up with proposals and not simply be a “talking shop”.

·  It would be important to clearly identify the demand for rural bus services and it was also very important for local people to use the service provided.

 

Cllr Tim Warren explained that B&NES, South Gloucestershire and Bristol Councils had all received a grant of £800,000 from the WECA Regional Transport Forum to support transport systems in their areas.

 

The Parish Liaison Meeting agreed to create a B&NES Rural Transport Group consisting of:

 

·  Parish Councils

·  B&NES

·  Community Transport

·  Bus Service Operators

 

The next steps would be:

 

·  To establish the demand with a survey

·  With the help of providers including the community to establish how this demand can be met.

·  To match demand and supply – generation of a requirement document not based simply on subsidies

·  To take a coherent bid to WECA.

 

A copy of the presentation slides is attached as Appendix 4 to these minutes.

Rural Transport Presentation - Appendix 4 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

35.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

To consider the following potential meeting dates:

 

Weds 24 July 2019

Weds 16 or 30 October 2019

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

It was agreed that future meetings will take place on the following dates:

 

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Wednesday 30 October 2019

 

Meetings will commence at 6.30pm and will be held in the Community Space, Keynsham.